Manuals Guides

Guide to Safe Use of Prescription Drugs: Know Your Medical History

Provide your doctor or healthcare professional with a complete medical history. Be sure to inform him/her of anything unusual about your personal or family health history, or any changes in your diet or lifestyle, before a prescription is written. You know more about you than your doctor possibly can.

Patient Health Literacy

Health professionals often assume that their patients can read and write. They routinely provide patients with written information that appears on prescription bottles, and as educational pamphlets, appointment cards and consent forms. Yet a study found that patients with poor reading ability have difficulties understanding about their healthcare and may not recognize when a medication errors occurs.

Guide to Safe Use of Prescription Drugs: Ask About Side Effects

Virtually any drug will occasionally cause an unwanted reaction. A side effect is a reaction or consequence of medication or therapy that is additional to the desired effect of the medicine.

Guide to Safe Use of Prescription Drugs: Follow Prescription Directions

Always take your medication as instructed by your doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional, and never change the way you take it unless one of these healthcare professionals instructs you to do so. A medication will provide little benefit if you skip doses or stop taking it before you should, and could be harmful if you exceed the recommended dose.

Guide to Safe Use of Prescription Drugs: Monitor Your Reactions

When taking prescription medicines, there are many possible explanations for symptoms, other than a drug reaction. However, if you experience a new symptom and it began after you started taking a new medication, contact your doctor, pharmacist or other healthcare professional immediately.